I am writing this in anticipation of the screaming case of DOMS I will have in 24 hours' time. Why? This morning I attended a "total body conditioning" class at my gym for the first time. If I am to have even the slightest chance of staying injury-free and successfully completing all of the races I want to do this year, including the 50-mile ultra, I have to strengthen all my muscles, not just the ones I use for running.
Oh yeah, I'm going to do a 50-mile ultramarathon in June. More on that later.
It's been a long time since I finished a workout feeling wobbly and exhausted. The DOMS is heading toward me like a freight train. My quads and arms are going to be CRYING by tomorrow.
I had never used a kettlebell before and this class was heavy on kettlebell work. Do this exercise, then 20 kettlebell swings. Repeat three times. Try not to topple over. Sprinkle sweat everywhere. 45 minutes later I was a quivering puddle.
All in the name of improved muscle strength, right? In a few weeks I know it won't hurt as much, but tomorrow it's going to hurt like HELL.
Now, about that 50-mile ultra...
When I ran my first half marathon I said, "that's far enough." A year later I ran my first marathon and said, "that's really far enough." That was far enough through four more marathons and four years. I swore up and down and sideways that I was never going to do an ultra. I resisted all attempts to convince me otherwise, even after I got to know a bunch of serious ultrarunners in my hashing kennel. I stuck to my "a marathon is far enough" until two weeks ago when in a moment of weakness after several months of arm-twisting by my very talented ultrarunner friend Brian, I caved in and registered for the Mohican 50 Mile. Well, Brian registered for me. I just entered my payment information.
Beer may have played a part in my moment of weakness.
As soon as registration was complete, I groaned, "what did I just do?" Brian may have yelled something about "HELL YES" and "THIS IS GOING TO BE SO AMAZING."
Signed myself up for a world of hurt, that's what I just did. Well, nothing to do now but find a training plan and lurch forward with this ridiculous endeavor. Along the way I will be running the Trail Marathon and the Dances with Dirt Gnawbone 50K as "practice" races. In WHAT WORLD has a 31-mile trail race turned into a TRAINING RUN for another, even LONGER race?
ULTRA WORLD, THAT'S WHERE!
After this is all over in mid-June, I have to segue straight into training for the Chicago Marathon in October. I suspect that training cycle will feel easy compared to what I am going to put myself through over the next four months.
I wanted to close out my thirties with a bang. Somehow that went from doing the Chicago Marathon with my best friend to my most ambitious (ill-advised? insane?) year of running ever.
UPDATE: It is now Friday morning and yes, I do have a terrible case of the DOMS. I could barely walk down my stairs this morning and I'm staggering around like I just ran a marathon. Maybe that six-mile run after work wasn't such a great idea.